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It has been a difficult week for many Kentuckians. Power outages, no phone service, damaged houses, downed trees, cancelled worship services have been the norm for many people. Throughout the commonwealth United Methodists have been on the scene to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to those in need. In an effort to keep you informed, here are some of the stories from across the Connection.
Quentin Scholtz reports that Danville Centenary has provided shelter for those affected by the ice storm. “We have provided over 2,000 meals, shelter for 200-300 people, caring for and feeding the EMTs, fire and police personnel, and line crews from all over the US who have come to help. I share this with you because we are still in emergency mode and Danville Centenary needs the prayers of this conference. God is using us in a mighty way.”
Jack Larwa from Eddyville writes,
“I am hoping that you already know about our situation in Western Kentucky. Lyon County, Kentucky continues to be without power as of 2/2/09. We are told that it may be 4-6 weeks before parts of our area are restored. We had church in our fellowship hall yesterday morning with the 70 that were able to make it into town. Our church functioned as a warming shelter for 4 days until the National Guard established a more stable facility at the school across the street. Kuttawa UMC has done the same thing. We are doing all we can to help people through this, and God is displaying His grace through the choices people are making to help one another. It may be a disaster, but the Lord is making it into a beautiful thing.
I didn't even realize there was damage as far away as Louisville. How is it there? What about Loucon? Do they have any immediate needs that we can try to help with? Are other conferences seeing the need and responding?”
Here is the answer to Jack’s question about Loucon Training ad Retreat Center. Program Director, Sam Kennedy, reports:
“Some have heard about Leitchfield, but some have not. At camp we have lost about 500 trees. And literally not one tree at camp still has the top. There are limbs and trees everywhere. We lost power at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning due to a tree taking down a line behind the director’s house. It snapped 2 more pole lines on camp. We are told it could be up to a month before we get power. Then two trees crushed Warren's carport. The house is ok with the exception of some guttering and a lot of electrical damage. Yesterday Benji and I cleared off all the roads to make it to the dining hall and the shop. The trail to Low Elements you can not see anymore and the same goes with the road to Nolin because of trees. The road to Munday is closed due to an unreal amount of trees in the way. Power lines are down and it is hard to get to Wagner and the Village; the rest of camp is accessible. If you know anyone willing to come out and help out we would really appreciate it.
If you have any questions please call me anytime. (270) 317-0150”
Jay Smith, Madisonville DS, reports:
“The following churches have provided shelters/warming stations in their communities:
Madisonville First; Webb Memorial in Webster County; Cadiz UMC in Trigg County;
Kuttawa and Eddyville UMCs in Lyon County; Pisgah and Ledbetter UMCs in Livingston County. Except for Christian County, most of the district is still without power; some counties, still without water. I will be heading to Webster, Livingston, Crittenden, and Trigg Counties today--at least two of the shelters need assistance with replenishing food. I am taking some Wal-Mart gift cards so they can shop for what they need.
I am so thankful to God and proud to be United Methodist for how our churches have risen with Christ to meet the needs in their communities during this time! Thanks for the resources you have provided already! Got to get on the road!”
Pam Moran, from Methodist Hospital in Henderson, gives this account on the role of the hospital, “During the Ice Storm of 2009, Methodist Hospital lived its mission. Hour after hour, hospital employees provided compassionate care for their neighbors in need. Many people were without power, without oxygen tanks, without the basic necessities needed to survive. Methodist Hospital took in these people and provided them with so much more than basic medical care. Home Health employees made their way through county roads to find patients and make sure they were okay. Those with need were transported to the hospital where staff members were ready to tend to them. Methodist Hospital coordinated with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Emergency Management Agency to ensure that all our citizens had access to life saving resources. For its part, Methodist Hospital housed the bed bound and oxygen dependent.
At Methodist Hospital Union County, staff members treated patients while on emergency power. But the lack of regular phone service and a few amenities didn’t dampen the spirit of the people.”
Other churches that reported serving as shelters were: New Beginnings, Stanford; Beaver Dam and Lawrenceburg.
Ronnie Dooley, the Columbia District Disaster Response Coordinator, shared, “Through the combined efforts of Campbellsville Baptist Church and our local Methodist Disaster Relief, I have the awesome story to report that an 81-year-old man gave his heart and life to Christ this morning at our emergency shelter. God is Great!!”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Pray for those affected and those responding.
2. Share your financial gifts through the Advance. This can be done in two ways:
a. General Church Advance #901670. These funds will provide relief in all the states affected by the storm. Please mark checks for Winter Storms.
b. Kentucky Conference Advance #200901. These funds will be used within the bounds of the Kentucky Conference.
c. Mail all checks to: Kentucky Conference Treasurer, 7400 Floydsburg Road, Crestwood, KY 40014.
3. Volunteer to help with cleanup and repairs at Loucon Camp & Retreat Center (located near Leitchfield). Phone (270) 317-0150.
4. More opportunities for volunteer service will be coming in the near future as communities gain power and organize for next steps.
5. Help us continue to tell the story by sending pictures and information on your ministry during this time. Information will be posted on the website. Please send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.